Mission

On behalf of the State of Washington and its wineries and growers, the international mission of the Washington State Wine Commission is to develop new and existing markets and raise awareness and demand for Washington State wine through marketing, communication, education, and winery participation.

12 people in sun hats and with bags stand on a green platform looking at the man at the right end taking a photo with a mobile phone. The background is the pale blue sky.
Japan In-Bound Tour in 2019, overlooking Goose Gap and out toward Candy Mountain at Goose Ridge Wine Estates.

Overview of the International Marketing Program

Wines produced in Washington have been exported to select foreign markets since 1986. Past market development activities have been organized through a broad agricultural coalition that included individual state Departments of Agriculture, the Oregon Wine Advisory Board/Oregon Wine Board, the Washington State Wine Commission, and the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA). 

In order to focus international market development efforts more specifically on wines produced in the Pacific Northwest, the Washington State Wine Commission, Oregon Wine Board and Idaho Wine Commission were brought together under one umbrella, the Northwest Wine Coalition. Our long-term partners at Bryant Christie, Inc. work in concert with the Northwest Wine Coalition on strategy, application for grants, compliance, that are leveraged to establish the region as a producer of first-class premium wines to international audiences. 

I tell you, the world of wine cannot wait to see what you do next, Washington.
Oz Clarke, Author and broadcaster

Successful export market development programs organized and developed by the Northwest Wine Coalition have included participation in international wine exhibitions, wine tastings, restaurant promotions, media and trade visits to the Northwest production regions, partial funding of features in major trade and consumer publications, technical seminars on Northwest winemaking and grape growing techniques, cooperative promotions with the wine trade in targeted markets, and reverse trade missions.

Resource

International Strategic Plan

The Northwest Wine Coalition has in place a strategic plan covering the period from 2020 to 2024. The plan outlines the organization’s structure, goals, strategic pillars, and key tactics.
Logo for Washington Wine, white lettering on a black background with dark topography lines.

Funding

Funding for market development activities is awarded to the Northwest Wine Coalition by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (FAS-USDA) and Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in the form of grants. These grants include Market Access Program (MAP), Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG), Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), Global Broad-Based Initiative (GBI), and Emerging Markets Program (EMP).

Key Performance Metrics

International marketing participation has grown significantly over the last five years. The number of participating Washington wineries has increased by nearly 30%. In 2021, 32 Washington wineries exported wine to more than 60 countries leading to more than $47M in sales and a 5-Year compound annual growth rate of 8.8% (volume). The top ten markets represent more than 85% of export sales:

Pie graph showing the 2019-2020 Top 10 Countries for WA Wine
Key Global Events
There’s nothing we love more than being able to introduce Washington Wine to people, whether it’s the first or hundredth time.

Every year, we participate in the biggest wine events around world, and love having our wineries and winemakers join us so they can tell, in person and for themselves, the story of Washington Wine. Below is a link to our annual calendar, and two featured programs we participate in.

Resource

2021 Calendar of Events

While we love it when the world comes to Washington Wine, we equally love bringing Washington Wine to the world. Click here to see where WA Wine is headed this year internationally.
An airplane just above the tarmac in twilight. The plane's nose faces the viewer and a few bright lights shine from beyond the plane.

Following are two of the largest global wine conferences that WA Wine participates in each year:

ProWein – March 2022:

ProWein is the world’s biggest and most relevant trade conference for wine and spirits. In 2019 there were over 6,900 exhibitors from 64 countries with 61,500 visitors from 143 nations. For 25 years, the 3-day conference has been the must-attend global industry conference. https://www.prowein.com/

VinExpo Hong Kong – May 2022

For many years now, global consumption of wine and spirits has been driven by the Asian market. With its positive business environment, Hong Kong has emerged as a key location for networking in the industry and a strategic trading platform. In 2019, there were over 1,400 exhibitors from 33 countries with 17,000 visitors from 67 countries. The three days of the show will be punctuated by meetings, innovative ideas and networking opportunities between importers, sommeliers and producers from all over the world.

What’s going on is the brilliance, and the genius, of Washington wine.
Oz Clarke, author and broadcaster

Additional Resources

Opportunities to participate are included in the WSWC’s monthly newsletters. For any and all inquiries, from Washington wineries to importers, please contact Steve Warner, President of Washington Wine, swarner@washingtonwine.org. You may also reference the below helpful links:

Logo for the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)

Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the Washington State Wine Commission receives Market Access Program (MAP) funding to promote Washington wine in international markets.

Vi ser fram emot att se er snart igen i Washington! 워싱턴주 와인을 곧 만나볼 수 있기를 희망합니다! We can’t wait to welcome you to Washington!